130-year-old riverboat shipwreck is revealed as water levels in Missouri river drop by two feet in drought
- A nearly 130-year-old shipwreck has been revealed in the Missouri River because of low water conditions
- The Abner O’Neal wrecked in 1892 bringing 9,000 bushels of wheat from Washburn to Mandan, North Dakota
- Almost 32% of Missouri is experiencing a drought, up from 6% in March
- The Abner O’Neal is approximately 25 miles north of Bismarck, North Dakota
- She was built in 1884 and is named after Capt. Abner O’Neal, a shipping figure from the 1870s Steubenville/Wheeling steamboat industry
A nearly 130-year-old shipwreck has been revealed in the Missouri River as the region experiences a severe drought and river levels have dropped more than two feet.
According to Fox 4, nearly one third, or 31.9 percent of land area is experiencing a drought in Missouri.
That’s up from March, when just six percent of the state was dry, which started to cause an issue for crops.
More than 1.8 million people, or just over 30 percent of the state’s population, are affected.
In April, the US Drought Monitor said that nearly 50 percent of the U.S. were experiencing severe drought conditions.
Since she wrecked, the steamboat has been submerged in the Missouri River, but history buffs are getting their first look at the ancient wreck.
‘I thought that would be a fantastic thing to see,’ kayaker Nyk Edinger told the news outlet.
‘It’s pretty exciting being that close to it, seeing how it has maintained its shape,’ he added.
‘It’s just amazing that it’s still sitting right where it sunk.’
The Abner O’Neal, which is approximately 25 miles north of Bismarck, North Dakota, was built in 1884 in Freedom, Pennsylvania
The Abner O’Neal is approximately 25 miles north of Bismarck, North Dakota.
She was built in 1884 in Freedom, Pennsylvania, according to the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
She is named after Capt. Abner O’Neal, a well-known shipping figure from the 1870s Steubenville/Wheeling steamboat industry.
She operated for a number of years successfully, bringing both freight and passengers up and down the region.
The ship was eventually sold to the Missouri River Transportation Company in March 1890.
In November 1891, she became stuck in early-winter ice in the Painted Woods area, where she remained for four months, until April 1892.
On July 17, she hit a submerged snag or rock and started to sink, with the cargo and boat eventually becoming submerged.
For 130 years, she was exposed only seasonally, during fall drawdown at Lake Sakakawea, before the waters would freeze again in the winter.
In an October 2020 expedition, images of the site and Abner O’Neal wreck were taken using drones
However, in September 2020, archaeologists at the State Historical Society of North Dakota were notified that the wreck was visible because of the low water conditions.
In an October 2020 expedition, images of the site and wreck were taken using drones.
Further analysis of the area, including mosaics, video and other images taken by the agency’s archaeologists is ongoing.